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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

DNA replication pattern and cell wall growth in Escherichia coli PAT 84.

An electron microscopic radioautographic study was made of tritiated thymidine incorporation into the genome of Escherichia coli PAT 84 and of tritiated meso-D,L-2,6-diaminopimelic acid (DAP) into the cell envelope. Pulse-labeled cells growing at 30 degrees C with a doubling time of 170 min were classified according to length by the method of agar filtration. Mathematical analysis of the length distribution led to the assumption of an exponential relation between length and time. A novel DNA replication pattern was found. Within the cell cycle DNA replication terminates at 70 min; then a gap follows of 64 min, after which DNA replication is initiated at 134 min. Thus, the C period is 106 min and the D period is 100 min. Cell constriction starts at 141 min and coincides with initiation of DNA replication. Detailed quantitative analysis of the [3H]thymidine grain frequency distribution allowed the distinction of three groups of cells. The first group incorporated no label, the second group an amount C, and the third group an amount 2 X C. The relative contribution of each group to a particular length class was determined. The data fitted very well into the DNA replication pattern. The same analysis was carried out on DAP pulse-labeled cells. Again, three groups of cells could be distinguished, and their relative contributions to each length class was determined. The group with the double amount of label was especially prominent at the end of the cell cycle. The emergence of this group might represent the acquisition of new lateral growth areas.[1]


  1. DNA replication pattern and cell wall growth in Escherichia coli PAT 84. Koppes, L.J., Overbeeke, N., Nanninga, N. J. Bacteriol. (1978) [Pubmed]
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